Sexes alike. Bright blue above, greenish on wings; top of head finely banded black and blue; ferruginous cheeks, ear-coverts and white patch on sides of neck; white chin and throat and deep ferruginous underbody distinctive; coral-red legs and blackish beak. Solitary or in scattered pairs; never found away from water; perches on pole or overhanging branch; flies low over water, a brilliant blue streak, uttering its shrill notes; sometimes tame and confiding; dives for fish from perch; occasionally hovers over water before diving.
streams, lakes, canals; also coastal areas.
fish; occasionally tadpoles and aquatic insects.
subcontinent, south of 2,000m in Himalaya; various races differ in shade of blue-green upper body.
shrill chichee chichee